Reba McEntire - Room to Breathe
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Room to Breathe (MCA Nashville, 2003)

Reba McEntire

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

The thrill of hearing Reba McEntire get ultra-bluegrass on the single "I'm Gonna Take That Mountain," makes one wish she would just have the guts make a Ricky Skaggs/Patty Loveless move and record an all-bluegrass album one day. There are bright moments here, such as the gospel of "Sky Full Of Angels" and secular gospel of "Love Revival" where McEntire's performance shines at full throttle.

But bland ballads, notably "Secret" and "If I Had Any Sense Left At All," tend to drag Reba down from that mountain. Granted, nobody does sad quite like McEntire, which is exemplified here by "Once You've Learned To Be Lonely." But excellent ballads, like "He Gets That From Me," are few and far between. Reba sings extremely well throughout - and exceptionally well on "Moving Oleta" - but she's not given nearly enough to dig her teeth into.

She reveals so much spunk when acting in her TV show and also when she's called upon to host award shows that it makes one long to hear this same sort of vigor in her recorded music as well. This album finds Reba with room to breathe, but it ultimately falls short of leaving the listener breathless.

CDs by Reba McEntire

My Chains Are Gone, 2022 Stronger Than the Truth, 2019 My Kind of Christmas (expanded version), 2017 Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, 2017 My Kind of Christmas, 2016 Love Somebody, 2015 All The Women I Am, 2010 Keep on Loving You, 2009 50 Greatest Hits, 2008 Love Revival, 2008 Reba Duets, 2007 Reba #1's, 2005

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